Comparison of natural resistance in seven genetic groups of meat-type chicken

J Kramer, A H Visscher, J A Wagenaar, J B J W Cornelissen, S H M Jeurissen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    1. Several studies have shown that genetic variation exists in response to various Salmonella strains in mammals and poultry. In the current study immunocompetence traits related to natural resistance to Salmonella were measured in 7 genetic groups of meat-type chickens (in total 296 chickens involved). 2. Variables were measured of both innate (phagocytic activity) and adaptive immune responses that are important after a natural or experimental Salmonella enteritidis infection. Two traditional Old Dutch Breeds (groups 1 and 2), four commercial broiler groups (groups 3 to 6), and one experimental broiler group (group 7) were used. In two periods, birds of each group were killed for examination at ages between 14 and 35 d post hatch. 3. Significant differences between groups were found for most immune variables measured, with significant correlations between several of them. All groups produced an adequate immune response, of either the innate or the adaptive type. 4. In the current study, group 2 showed the highest overall natural resistance, though none of the groups was uniformly superior with respect to all traits measured. 5. In conclusion, for reliable measurements of general immunocompetence or resistance to Salmonella, for example, it is important to measure several aspects of the immune system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)577-85
    Number of pages9
    JournalBritish Poultry Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


    • Aging
    • Animals
    • Antibody Formation
    • Body Weight
    • Cell Culture Techniques
    • Chickens
    • Immunity, Innate
    • Immunoglobulins
    • Leukocytes
    • Meat
    • Nalidixic Acid
    • Phagocytosis
    • Salmonella enteritidis
    • Species Specificity
    • Weight Gain


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